Seventh graders build a shed, plus teamwork, skills, professionalism


From left, Xavier Gaddy, Joness LaSalle-Bryant, Shaun Mann and Rodney Bray raise a wall.

One of the most famous lifeguards ever to work at the YMCA once said, “There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.”

Decades later these words from President Ronald Reagan ring true as the Northern Neck Family YMCA is discovering the truth of this delightful notion through the 7th Grade Initiative (7GI) program.

“The participants in this STEM-based program are from widely diverse backgrounds,” said development specialist Patrick Creed III. “We have seventh graders from Chesapeake Academy, The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck and Lancaster Middle School. The project that these amazing children are working on right now is the construction of a 12’ x 14’ wooden shed.

First, our seventh-grade team designed a business plan for funding to purchase materials for the shed. Following the presentation of this plan to a local bank, construction commenced, said Creed. Currently there are four walls in place and the students have already built the rafters for the roof.

Through the entire 7GI program, students have learned new trade skills and some important lessons on professionalism and teamwork, he said…



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